18 March 2016

3 habits of successful SMS ‘super-users’

In this blog, we list the three habits that lead our ‘super-user’ clients to achieve the greatest impact with SMS, in both increased service levels or productivity gains.

1. They use SMS sparingly

SMS messaging is extremely powerful but must be deployed wisely and appropriately. Text messages have an overall 97 percent open rate, and 90 percent of SMS messages are opened within 90 seconds. No other direct marketing or communication channel can offer this level of impact.

A messaging strategy must be built on transparency and trust. SMS messages sent too frequently can lead to a disgruntled recipient, encouraging customers to opt out and reducing the size of your hard-earned database or prospect list.

SMS messages used at the right place at the right time can transform the way that you engage with your recipient and improve the standard of your interactions. Monitor your activity through dashboards and reports to evaluate the success of your communications, such as establishing an optimal time to send your messages

2. They see SMS as a form of engagement

With the rise of mobile and social technologies, we must rethink how we communicate, engage and connect with our customers. Messaging super-users see SMS as a great opportunity to promote relevant and consistent content, and a chance to engage with their audiences like never before.

Brands need to balance context, intent, and immediacy to provide a valuable information to consumers. Through an immediate and individualised SMS message, you can progress a customer journey from awareness through to the call-to-action. An SMS super-user delivers relevance based on content and intent in the moment that it is needed most. The right message to the right person at the right time can be extremely powerful.

New apps also change how we communicate and engage with our customers. Yet SMS remains popular and SMS messaging volumes are still on the rise.

Apps are not here to replace text messaging. Instead they are well-positioned to catalyse conversations in the cloud while relying on SMS to weave immediate context into the situation, such as critical alerts, coupons, calendar invites and passwords. Revenue streams will remain intact for SMS super-users who can work with organisations to find a compelling and immediate message to help surprise the customer.

3. They choose their SMS partner carefully

Sending an SMS is easy for the consumer, but the scenario is different for businesses. Enterprise organisations need to contend with a fragmented technology landscape, and a myriad of global aggregators, connectors and telecom providers that handle SMS messages. Couple that with local laws and regulations around spam and you have quite a complex environment.

SMS messaging super-users pay special attention to consumer and business mobile messaging trends. They know that service quality lies in how well your SMS partner executes and how well your SMS solution maps to the needs of your business.

Does your SMS partner support global text, two-way SMS, dedicated numbers, delivery receipts, text-to-voice and short code messages? How good is their API documentation if you wish to integrate SMS with an existing application? How quickly can they have you up and running in your language of choice?

Predictions for the future of SMS?

Our attention spans are getting shorter. Think of how we digest news on Twitter and Facebook. Or the meteoric rise of Vines, GIFs and videos on YouTube and Instagram. Digital lifestyles are changing the way we process information, decreasing the ability for prolonged focus, and increasing our appetite for short and snappy stimuli. With a 97 percent open rate and a 160-character limit, SMS is the perfect medium.

SMS has the highest delivery and read rate across all major communication channels. It is available as long as you have a mobile phone and a service plan. It doesn’t come with any baggage or prerequisites: you don’t need to ‘follow’ SMS, you don’t need to ‘like’ SMS, and you don’t have to download SMS in the app store. It’s a one-size-fits-all, no-strings-attached solution, making it perfect for quick, time-sensitive content.

For today’s customers, communication across multiple channels is no longer a preference – it’s an expectation. With the explosive reliance on mobile technology, customers want real problems solved, in real time. When it comes to a larger audience reach that is reliant on speed and immediacy, SMS provides the urgency and flexibility to give customers the most valuable content at the most precise time. Speed and simplicity.

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